Friday’s Dean’ assembly started with a couple of admin agenda items:
One of the themes of our Dean’s Assemblies have been the idea of making a difference. Earlier this year you might have read about Todd Barclay in the news. Barclay was elected to Parliament in 2014 at 24 years of age; he is the youngest person in the current parliament.
He was in the news last month after revelations that Barclay had made secret recordings of a staff member he suspected of being critical of him. Secretly recording a conversation that you are not party to is a crime. You can’t record a conversation with someone you are talking to without them giving permission. After a media circus, he eventually declared he wouldn’t stand for re-election, effectively resigning his seat in parliament.
Why I’m bringing this up is the way the media talked about him during this scandal, it often focused on his age. People having a go at him for being 27 is not on. It’s age-ist and simply not fair. Let’s be clear, he wasn’t centre of a scandal because he is young. He was was the centre of a scandal because he decided to do something that was illegal. The media that made fun of his age were belittling the importance of have youth perspectives in Parliament. If all Members of Parliament were 27, our country would look really different. I’m not saying that it would be better or worse, but I am saying that having youth representation is vital to our democracy. And this extends to your voices too. Your voices are vital in our democracy.
We welcomed representatives from the Electoral Commission who explained the voting process and reinforced messages about why it is important to have your say. They got everyone that hasn’t already enrolled to vote to register. Follow this link if you are still yet to do this. Even if you are 17 and won’t be able to vote in the September Election, you can still enroll in advance.